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Gockel Receives 2017 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for L&C

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Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Media Services, linlow@lc.edu

GODFREY – Paralegal Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Business Rebecca “Becky” Gockel is Lewis and Clark Community College’s 2017 Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

“Being recognized as this year’s Emerson award recipient is both an honor and a privilege,” Gockel said. “I was truly humbled by the nomination and sentiments shared by my peers after the announcement was made. It’s so rewarding to work in an environment where colleagues genuinely care about one another and rally for each other, both personally and professionally. This award signifies my true appreciation of my role at L&C. I never take my job for granted here.” 

Each year, the Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize more than 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field. This is the 24th year Lewis and Clark has participated in the recognition program.

“I respect Becky for her integrity, her compassion and most of all the dedication she demonstrates for the success of this career program,” said Paralegal Adjunct Faculty Member Kerri Forsythe. “Becky doesn’t even realize how many people’s dreams come true because of her. She embraced my excitement as a new teacher in the program and she is always striving to ensure that students and instructors have everything needed to be successful in the classroom.”

Gockel earned her Master of Business Administration from Webster University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Illinois State University, where she also earned a Political Science minor in Legal Studies, which is American Bar Association accredited.

She began her professional career in 1991 as a Corporate Paralegal at the worldwide headquarters of Motorola, Inc. in Schaumburg, Illinois. During that time, she received specialized training from George Washington University in Government Contracts.

Four years later, she relocated to the St. Louis area to work for Ralston Purina Company as an Employment Law Paralegal where she focused on labor and employment law compliance issues. She left Ralston in 1998 to begin a career in corporate staffing/recruiting at Energizer Battery Company, where she spent three years building and managing their recruiting program.

Gockel left Energizer and started her teaching/consulting career in 2001 when she began teaching business and career development courses at Lewis and Clark Community College.

During this time, she was also a part-time career development counselor for the MBA students at Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, as well as SLU's School of Law.

She began teaching full-time at L&C in the Business Division in August 2004. In 2005, she helped develop the first Paralegal program in L&C's district and is now the program coordinator. Gockel is also a circuit court-appointed mediator in Madison County’s family law division.

“I enjoy watching paralegal jobs and opportunities for my students continue to sky rocket in our district as a result of employers hiring students and graduates, seeing how skilled and valuable they are and continuing to want more in their law offices,” Gockel said. “The local job market for paralegals has far exceeded my expectations when I started the program 12 years ago. This program’s rapid growth and the metro east employers’ response to it has been my best professional success story by far.”

To learn more about the Paralegal program at L&C, visit www.lc.edu/program/paralegal.